Now, don't hate me New Englanders, but Manhattan is actually my favorite kind (and I can't stand the Patriots). I do enjoy the rich white chowder from time to time, though. I think I might have mentioned going on a quest to try as many types of clam chowder as I could get my hands on last year. But I must have forgotten about it, because I never did it. Maybe this will be my year.
New England Clam Chowder
Rich, creamy and loaded with clams, this classic New England Clam chowder recipe will warm your bones and comfort your soul.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 35 - 40 minutes
Keywords: soup/stew nut-free soy-free sugar-free bacon clams potatoes cream American
Ingredients (serves 6)
- 8 ounces thick-cut bacon, cut into 1/2-inch slices crosswise
- 2 celery stalks, diced
- 1 small onion, diced
- 1 small leek, white and light green parts only, chopped
- 1 fat garlic clove, minced
- 2 (10 ounce) cans baby clams with their juice
- 3 cups fish or seafood stock or broth (or chicken broth, in a pinch)
- 2 cups clam juice
- 1 pound russet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch dice
- 8 sprigs fresh thyme + some fresh chopped leaves to garnish
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
- kosher or sea salt
- freshly ground pepper
- oyster crackers, to serve
Put the bacon into a heavy 4-quart pot over medium heat. Cook until the bacon is done, stirring as you go, 8-10 minutes. Drain off all but about 2 tablespoons of the bacon grease. If you want, you can lift out the bacon and save it to stir in at the end, leaving the fat behind; or just leave it in now. Add celery, onion, and garlic and cook, stirring often, until onion is soft, 5-7 minutes.
In the meantime, open the cans of clams and drain the liquid into a small bowl; reserve clams for now. Add stock or broth, clam juice (both the amount in the ingredient list and what was drained from the cans), potatoes, thyme sprigs, and bay leaf. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a steady simmer and cook until potatoes are tender, ~15 minutes.
Stir cornstarch and 2 tablespoons of cold water together in a small bowl until dissolved. Stir into chowder pot and return to a simmer until it has thickened up a bit, 1-2 minutes. Turn the down as far as it will go, then lift out the bay leaf and thyme stems and discard.
Stir in the reserved clams and the cream and cook until the mixture starts to steam again and everything is heated through. Taste and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper as needed (but really, taste it first - salt varies in stock/broth, bacon, and clam juice).
Divide chowder among bowls (add the bacon back if you reserved it in the beginning). Garnish with oyster crackers and a few scattered fresh thyme leaves.
Want more Clam Chowdah? Here's a couple more kinds to love:
|Manhattan Clam Chowder|
|Rhode Island Clam Chowder|